School Admissions Consultation 2013-14
Two of the changes relate to proposed changes to the city’s secondary school catchment areas, which would take effect for the academic year 2013-14. They are:
· A proposal to move a stretch of the boundary between the Dorothy Stringer / Varndean catchment area and the Blatchington Mill / Hove Park catchment area westwards from the London to Brighton railway line to Dyke Road. A number of options are under consideration for exactly where the southern end of the boundary would run
· A plan to move the southern boundary between the Portslade Aldridge Community Academy catchment area and the Blatchington Mill / Hove Park catchment area to Boundary Road so that the whole of the BN41 postcode area is included in the PACA catchment area
Another proposed change to secondary admissions procedures relates to the sibling link admissions priority, which currently applies to all applications regardless of home address.
When the current secondary admission arrangements were introduced in 2008, it was intended that with effect from 2013-14 the sibling priority would only apply within the designated catchment area for a child’s home address. The delay allowed sibling links to work through for children already in secondary school at that time. It is proposed that from September 2013 the sibling link priority should as envisaged only be applied within catchment areas. Should the proposed catchment area changes be agreed, it is envisaged that there would be a similar transitional period for siblings of existing pupils in the areas that have changed.
The council is also consulting on a proposal to change the way home to school distance is measured for primary applications.
Under the current system this is measured by the shortest available route from home to school, measured from a point in the property supplied by Postal address data, to the nearest point on the road network, and from there to the nearest of the school’s gates to the child’s home.
A number of parents have expressed concerns about this system. So the council is now asking for people’s thoughts on changing to a system that distance as the crow flies from the address point in the property in question to the address point in the school. Both systems are seen as having advantages and disadvantages. The proposed system would be easier to understand and to operate. But problems would arise where obstacles such as fields or railway lines block the ‘as the crow flies’ route.
Go to the consultation portal to get full details of all these proposals and to get involved in the school admissions arrangements consultation. Parents and carers are invited to return their comments by 29 February.